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St Francis & Safari 50’s, cat crazy Cape Town

St Francis 50 nav station lr

I must admit I drooled a bit over this nav station/office on board a St Francis 50 cruising cat. Wouldn’t that be the spot to test electronics and write Panbo? Of course I’d do a few things a little differently. For instance, while using the VGA-out function of the helm’s Raymarine E-80 to repeat its image on the PC monitor (more visible in the bigger picture here ) is helpful, and would be even more so with a remote Raymarine keyboard, I’d prefer RayTech 6.0 with an Ethernet relationship to the E so I could work fairly independently of the helmsman and also check alternative charts. I’d also put the switch panel elsewhere and fit the vertical surfaces of this station with easily replaced black panels. I may be a bit peculiar in terms of changing electronics, but I think every nav station should be built for easy upgrading.
  At any rate, the St Francis 50 was impressive for many well thought out cruising details, but the Crazy Frenchman and I declined a test sail, probably quite tame, in favor of a sunset blast on a red hot Safari 50 (perhaps the one and only) that’s gone into the Cape Town daysailing trade. The picture below isn’t great, but it tells some of the story. Even weighted down with over 25 people—not regular charterers, but guests of boat sponsor Peroni beer—the damn thing still went 19+ knots in the 20+ Southeasterly they love here. And who wouldn’t; the seas were so flat that bottles and even stem ware is staying put. And note that this is another all Raymarine catamaran. Actually what you laddies might be noticing is: fast boat, lots of good beer, and a lightly clad hostess. Indeed, check out GQ Cruises next time you’re in South Africa.

GQ 19kn

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

2 Responses

  1. Russ says:

    Yes, simple black vertical panels for an upgradeable nav station. Now, can we get the manufacturer’s to standardize the form factors? It took about 30 years for computer vendors, how long for marine electronics?

  2. Leon Scheepers says:

    Hi Ben – We are constantly looking to improve the 50 and your comments have not fallen on deaf ears. Leather covered removeable faces could be made for the current nav face if an owner would like to change it. Your suggestion about the Raytech software is spot on and our next client (whom you met on board) has specified exactly that. His PC will be linked to the E120 display and will be able to utilise a lot more of the features available. My last comment – we were disappointed you didn’t go for a sail with us but here’s hoping for next time!
    Leon Scheepers, Factory Manager, St Francis Marine.

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